It's a pretty common experience for a couple to get married and then, as soon as the wedding day is over, the questions begin and there's really one big question on everyone's minds: when are they going to have their first baby? It seems like the only thing that anyone wants to focus on and the pressure and expectations can be a bit overwhelming.
While being married and having children is definitely a wonderful experience, the truth is that kids can change a marriage in a variety of ways. After all, it's not just the couple anymore, right? There's a baby, and later on, a little person, to think about. Some are positive, like starting a family and starting traditions, but other ways aren't that great, like the fact that date nights are harder to plan and there isn't a lot of sleeping going on the first year or so.
Some women have gotten honest on Reddit and shared the ways that having a kid made marriage more difficult. These 20 stories are fascinating and many women can definitely relate to them. Thankfully, they all have happy endings and each couple was able to make it work and stay one big happy family.
20 It Took A While To Become A Team
For one woman who shared her story on Reddit, she expected to feel really connected to her husband after they had a baby. Instead, it was the opposite, and she said, "It highlighted every single thing I disliked about him and exacerbated it by 1 billion."
She continued that after they went to a counselor, they became a team: "We do a better job of looking out for each other, and trying to anticipate each other's needs... I actually do feel a lot closer to him now, and overall I would say things are pretty good."
It's good to hear that even if you're not so sure that you and your husband are the best team right after you have your first child, things can definitely get better.
19 It Can Make You Lose The Romance
When you're super in love and then you get married, it makes sense that you would want to start a family. You would hope that you and your hubby can keep your sense of romance, but that might not be the case, at least not right away.
That's what happened to this woman. On Reddit, she posted, "I feel our relationship is on hold 'til the kids are a bit older. Since having my first kid I haven't worked. I feel I've lost a huge part of myself." She shared that she felt so tired that it was hard to put the effort into her marriage and she really wanted to feel more like herself. This seems like something that many women can relate to.
18 It Can Be Hard If You Experience Postpartum
Postpartum depression is a really difficult thing to go through and if that's something that you struggle with, then it makes sense that would affect your marriage. Hopefully, your husband will be supportive, of course, but even so, your marriage will still change a bit.
According to this woman's story on Reddit, after she learned that she had postpartum twice, "Things were really rough, for years. My relationship with my husband didn't change for the worse, but I did, therefore the whole situation was affected. He was really supportive and caring through it all and we're still happily married. But I can see that with a different man, it might not have had the same happy outcome."
17 It Can Be A Rough Adjustment And Harder Than You Think
It definitely seems like no matter how prepared you feel to have baby, it can be tough to adjust to. One woman posted on Reddit that she and her partner got engaged when she turned 21 and had a four-month-old baby by the time that they got married. She said, "We love each other, and we love our son, but it's way more difficult than I ever imagined. We had no newlywed phase. We never have any time alone."
She also mentioned that they don't go on many date nights and that baby wipes and diapers cost $100 a month so that can add up. She shared that she would have liked to have planned a bit more in terms of what they expected from starting a family.
16 You Can't Stop Your Marriage From Changing But You Can Put In The Work And Stay Together
According to this mom's story on Reddit, it seems like although having a kid will most likely change your marriage, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Parents can absolutely figure it out.
She said that she got pregnant three months after they got married, and "Having our first child was challenging at times because now it wasn't just the two of us and this baby was totally relying on me for literally everything... We understand that marriage ain't easy [sic], we get on each other's nerves, we piss each other off, but we respect each other. Having kids does change a marriage but you both have to be willing and mature enough to put in the work." That's really solid advice.
15 It Works If You Don't Need To "Win" Or Be Perfect
As this woman who has been with her husband for 18 years shared on Reddit, you have to stop expecting to "win" and stop expecting total perfection as a wife and mother. That's the key to getting through the parenting experience.
She said, "I've changed my idea of winning quite a bit... Winning used to be a big spotless house, always well-groomed me with a perfectly balanced meal on the table by 6pm... Now it's getting home with a take and bake pizza in time to play video games with my son and listen to my daughter's stories about her day, and have enough energy to flirt with my honey. I think being a parent has made us grow up, in all the right ways."
14 You Feel Like You'll Have Your Marriage Back When Your Kids Are Older
For this wife and mother who posted on Reddit, having kids definitely changed her marriage, and she felt like she would essentially get her marriage back once her kids were older.
She said, "We got married at 22 after dating for 5 years. I found out I was pregnant with our first a month later. 14 months after she was born, I had our son. I feel like having our kids so quickly took away from having experiences alone together as a married couple when we were first married. However, because we had them so young I feel like we will get that time back once they are grown."
13 You Make Your Kid The Priority, Not Your Marriage
Starting a family is such a big commitment: you have this baby who relies on you all the time and you have to support them and always take care of them. This can mean that you pay less attention to your husband and that your kid is the priority over your husband.
This was this woman's experience. On Reddit, she shared, "Our son has become our priority, not each other. It's lovely in some ways, in other ways we seem to be in a constant cycle of trying to not be so horrible to each other." This seems like a relatable experience for many married couples with kids.
12 It Changes But You Can Make Communication The Key
People always say that communication is what makes a relationship work, and that's even truer when you're married with children.
That's what this wife and mother who posted on Reddit believes. She said, "Hubby and I have 2 kids and as much as I love them to bits I do miss our child-free days. We've been married for 10 years, had children for half of that and our relationship is feeling the strain. Not the friendship/parent part, but the man/wife lover part. Communication is key, something I have to work at."
It's good to know that with some communication, you can get past these tough spots.
11 It's A Super Stressful Experience
If you have kids and have ever felt stressed out, you can relate to this woman's story that she shared on Reddit. She said of her marriage changing after kids, "We basically hated each other for a year and a half in there. It was sad and stressful. Couples counseling and sincere, hard effort on both of our parts fixed what was harmed in our relationship during that time period."
This story is so helpful since it makes a good point: it's totally fine to go to counseling and get advice on how to feel connected to each other once again. And it's totally possible to get your marriage back to what it was.
10 You Can Ignore Your Husband Without Meaning To
When you're head over heels, crazy in love with your husband, it can be hard to imagine that there would ever come a time when you would ignore him. Yet, that can happen when you start a family and you don't even mean to at all.
That's what happened to this wife and mother. She shared on Reddit, "I think where we went wrong is I devoted 100% of my time to my daughter and kind of left my husband behind. Long story short, we fought a lot. My husband felt neglected and like he had been replaced. It got better over time. My daughter is 10 months old now and I'm finally starting to feel 'myself' again which has allowed me to focus on my relationship with my husband again."
9 It Can Be Hard To Find Time With Your Husband
For some married couples, starting a family can mean spending less time together.
That's what happened to this mom and wife on Reddit: "For the first 6 months or so, I really missed my husband as we had opposite schedules trying to take care of the baby. I would take a nap when he got home from work, and then wake up to take care of the baby when he went to bed. I really thought life would be like that for years, and I got depressed, but it wasn't."
It's comforting to hear that things did change and they did get to spend more time together. After all, you definitely want to actually see your husband after you two have a baby.
8 You're Exhausted So It Takes More Effort To Be Nice
If people can agree on one thing about having a baby, it's that you're really tired, and it makes sense that being exhausted would mean not being that nice to your partner.
This woman posted on Reddit that she and her husband had super busy schedules after they had a baby: she went to school and worked part-time and he had a full-time job. She said, "We are not very nice to one another sometimes but generally don't fight more than we ever did - just sometimes have snippy comments or crappy attitudes. We get almost no alone time and when we do we just want to sleep!" She continued that they talked about how they missed each other, which is really sweet.
7 You Feel Like You Have To Do Everything
Society tends to believe that moms are the ones who look after the kids all the time, and for some women, that can make them feel like they have to do everything. That can be really stressful and overwhelming.
As one such mom shared on Reddit, this mentality affected her marriage: "I bought into 'mom has to do it all'-itis. I worried about judgment from my family, from in-laws, everybody. As the stay-at-home parent, I have felt guilty about asking my husband to do anything -- so he's generally just gone to work and come home the last 7 months."
6 You Don't Feel Like Yourself For A Bit
In order to find love, you have to be yourself and put your best foot forward. After you have a baby, you might not feel totally like yourself, and that can affect your marriage.
This woman's story that she shared on Reddit sounds pretty relatable: "With the risque of everything I'm about to say sounding cliche... having a baby changes literally everything about every part of your life. So much so, in fact, that it took quite a while for me to even realize that I was still fundamentally the same person. I had to do a bit of a self-evaluation."
5 You Feel More Like Roommates For A Little While
Losing the "spark" for a little while and feeling like friends or roomies can be a pretty common experience once you have children. You have so much to do and your kids are relying on you.
That's what happened to this mom and wife on Reddit. She said, "We go through phases where it seems like we are more roommates than lovers, and that's ok. We just acknowledge that hey, this is a rough time in our house (like when the baby was teething, or when he got sick, etc)." She continued, "We just told ourselves this wouldn't be like this forever! And that really helped get us through the exhausting, omg what did we do, parts of being parents."
4 You'll Have Trouble At First But Date Nights Help
When you're dating and even married without children, date nights are super easy to plan. That's not the case when you're married with kids.
As this wife and mom shared on Reddit, date nights can really help you go through this transition. She said, "My husband and I are still best friends, but the first year of having children was definitely a strain. We were quicker to snip at one another because we were exhausted, or constantly comparing workloads if we felt that things weren’t distributed easily." She added, "We take the approach that paying for a night out is cheaper than paying for marriage counseling or divorce lawyers."
3 The First Year Is The Hardest On Your Marriage
Another woman shared on Reddit that the first year after having a baby was the toughest for them: "My husband is our baby's primary caregiver since I work long hours out of the house. He adores her and it shows. But he's also super messy and tends to forget romance. Despite being almost ten years in, our marriage almost didn't make it in the first year of our daughter's life."
It seems like many married couples would probably agree that after having their first baby, the first year can be a challenging experience, but things can absolutely get better after that.
2 Your Husband Might Not "Step It Up" At First
It would be awesome if both partners took care of their baby equally and distributed the household work, but sometimes, women can feel like their husbands just aren't stepping up to the parenting plate just yet.
That was the case for one wife and mom who shared her story on Reddit. She said, "I really see him step it up at about 18 months... Some men have trouble bonding with the baby. Or they really start feeling their role as 'provider' and sink a lot more energy into work as if that's gonna keep his family safe and happy." She added that her husband is a great father and things have worked out.
1 It's Going To Be Fine If You Had A Good Pre-Baby Relationship
A lot of people believe that if you have a good relationship, you'll have a good marriage, and the same thing seems to be true of being married and then starting a family. If there are problems in your marriage before kids, most people would probably agree that there will be issues post-kids, too.
On Reddit, a wife and mother said, "Of course the relationship will change because instead of focusing on each other, you are focusing on a tiny human. But it is so rewarding doing this together. It is so amazing to see your spouse love your child as much as you do."